IBCF 2019 REVIEW: AN EXRA CAFFEINATED EDITION
Another Independent Barcelona Coffee Festival has come and gone and, with it, those who attended left a little more coffee savvy, and perhaps even a bit over-caffeinated. There were more than 20 different coffee roasters present at the festival’s fourth edition, and you could taste as many as you could handle.
As you might have expected, coffee from all around the world was available to taste, compare and enjoy, and there were lots of coffee-related goodies on display, e.g. the latest in coffee machines, tools and literature. Attendees could partake in fun competitions, contests and tastings. There were also conferences, chats and workshops, both free and paid, available, of which we were able to attend the talk with Salvador Sans, owner and director of Cafés el Magnífico. Sans gave a talk on the evolution of specialty coffee in Barcelona. There probably isn’t anyone more qualified than Sans to speak on the subject as he’s been on the scene since 1987 and is a walking coffee encyclopedia. During his 40-minute talk, he walked us through the beginnings of his family’s business, his travels around the world to broaden his expertise, how coffee, as well as coffee drinking, has evolved, and where the specialty coffee industry is heading, amongst other things. His passion for coffee was contagious and his knowledge impressive, especially during the post-talk Q&A session.
For a festival that aims to strengthen the culture and concept of high quality coffee, it seemed evident that this year’s edition was a success. On Open Day, November 2nd, the venue was buzzing throughout the entire day. People waited in line at the coffee stands, readying their IBCF 2019 glass to be filled with specialty coffees, or simply to watch the baristas operate futuristic coffee machines. There was constant activity and conversation everywhere you turned. With that in mind, the overall organization of the event was fantastic. The stalls to rinse your glass when you were ready to try another brew, the water provided by BWT (Best Water Technology), said to be mineralized with magnesium to enhance the taste and aroma of the coffee, the PA prompts about the workshops, talks or events that were coming up, the friendly, energized organizers always at the ready to help… all of these small details and more helped to make the festival experience seamless and satisfying.
On top of all of that, there was also food, drink and music to fill out the enormous space that Utopia 126 provided. Its industrial chic atmosphere added a nice touch to the overall experience at the festival.
If things continue to progress as they have done for the IBCF, we can expect even better things to come the next time around.
By EMILY BENSON
Photos by ISABEL TROYA